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Do your 2012 grads seem like aliens?

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HC Online | 11 Jan 2012, 12:00 AM Agree 0
The beginning of the New Year brings the annual class of graduates starting in programs throughout Australia – but industry professionals have warned employers not to be surprised by Gen Y’s struggle to separate their professional and social lives.
  • Kate Connellan | 12 Jan 2012, 01:26 PM Agree 0
    There is a lot of commentary around on Gen Y, but I don't think they're any different to how any other generation was at their age. It may be social media in this day and age, but other generations have had similar issues to deal with in their youth. I don't know that focusing on the differences between generations is actually helpful in any way either! Building understanding and tolerance usually involves emphasising the similarities.
  • Kathleen | 13 Jan 2012, 10:16 AM Agree 0
    I do agree with Andrew, I think about myself – I have a Facebook profile, I am ‘friends’ with friends from college plus we have our own page where we can have private conversations about college/social related things. We talk about assignments due, class dates, upcoming exams, etc… We use Facebook to interact with each other outside of class, even to organise times to catch up outside of college. I can see that through that our lives are forming a “continuous thread.” In regards to dress codes, work hours, and behavioural expectations, I do think that dress code is particularly important in five star hotels/restaurants, etc., but what I am seeing so much of now, is different establishments, particularly restaurants and cafes, that still provide a high level of service and food yet the staff are younger, more relaxed, uniforms may be more dissimilar and staff may have tattoos/piercings, etc. Establishments may also have their own Facebook page, which again blurs the line between work and non-work. I think that a high level of standards should be kept but in a way that empowers everyone, not in a bid to ‘conform’ people. I think there are many organisations who are taking on the learning paradigm and fostering the different personalities, talents and abilities of people, which I believe would be much more effective. I think this in turn would bring out a positive attitude from staff towards the workplace. I think also, in the hospitality industry people are required to work weekends, yet weekends are typically the only time people get to be social. I think in a world where people are becoming increasingly social employers need to take this into account when employing Gen Y staff. If an employer makes a young staff member constantly work weekends they may end up losing them (I am guessing!). Bit of a ramble but I hope it gives some insight!
  • Daryl Edwards | 13 Jan 2012, 07:31 PM Agree 0
    I am rather tired of listening to the drivel of how employers are to change their attitudes to cater to Gen X, Y or whoevers... Why don't they change their attitudes to make themselves more atrractive and emploayable to to the employer - after all, it is the employer who pays the wages...
  • Bev | 19 Jan 2012, 06:28 PM Agree 0
    welcome to the real world Gen Y, employers pay you to do your work, not text or FB all day!
  • William Smith-Stubbs | 02 Mar 2012, 10:02 AM Agree 0
    The gripes between generations have been going on since, well, forever. John Lennon complained about the older generation leading his countryo 'to galloping ruin'. While, thousands of years earlier, the ancient Greek poet Hesiod was lamenting the 'frivolous youth of today' that were 'reckless beyond words'.

    This is nothing new. As a Gen Y, hearing the multitude of complaints about my generation in the workplace is boggling - to us, our impatience, craving for feedback and social inter-connectivness is perfectly natural. It is, after all, the product of how we were raised.

    In time however, when Gen Z begins to enter the work force in droves, I'm sure I'll be sitting back and tutting and complaining about how frustrating THEY are.

    As for a generation changing to adapt to a previous generation's expectations - yes and no. I agree that a midway needs to be reached, but how are the employers of today expected to hold out against the onslaught of Gen Y workers? Expecting to change the views of the masses, instead of adapting the company, seems like the harded option. After all, come 2014, Gen Y is expected to make up 50% of the working population.

    Indeed, all generations before us have made changes to how business is done and work lives are handled. It was Gen X that carved out the concept of a work/life balance - which now, seems perfectly normal.

    Ultimately, unique foibles aside, each generation goes through the same motions of change. It's the circle of life, the wi-fi of change.
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